RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Prices of thanksgiving meals are expected to be at an all-time high putting a strain on wallets and leaving some families unable to afford a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

This is due to inflation and high prices in stores. 

“Thanksgiving is just gonna be more expensive than it’s been in years past,” Andrew Smith, a Political Science professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of food has increased.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, prices last year increased about 4.3%.

Smith says because of high food prices, families are forced to reduce their grocery list.

“Inflation is still remains a serious issue. That’s inevitably going to impact families, you know, cutting out dishes or you know, possibly not even celebrating Thanksgiving at all,” Smith said.

Smith advises families stick to budgets. He adds buying generic brands in place of name brand can also make a difference. 

“Any kind of special meal for Thanksgiving is out of the question. And it’s also important to remember that ultimately, Thanksgiving is about spending time with the people you love. And that’s something that’s always going to be inflation resistant,” Smith said. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture turkey report, whole frozen turkeys already cost about 26 cents a pound more this year than they did last year.

Smith says the high cost will be around for a while longer as we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.